Smith Hits NCAA Provisional Mark in First-Ever Pentathlon Competition
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – In her first-ever pentathlon competition, junior Ayla Smith (Winchester, Va.) met an NCAA provisional qualifying mark, while Virginia’s distance medley relay of junior Kevin Tschirhart (Northport, N.Y.), freshman Kevin Anding (Houston, Texas), freshman Lance Roller (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) and sophomore Emil Heineking (Chardon, Ohio) met the provisional qualifying mark in the relay, to lead the Virginia track and field team on the opening day of the Penn State National Invitational.
In what turned out to be the best performance by a Cavalier since Rebecca Grube had 4108 points in 1995, Smith started the day finishing second in the 60m hurdles in 8.47 and capped off the performance with a first-place finish in the 800m in 2:15.99. Her point total of 3778 placed her fourth at the meet and ranks her fourth on Virginia’s all-time pentathlon records, while the men’s DMR team finished second on the day in a season-best time of 9:45.55.
Freshman Vincenzo Chiariello (Staten Island, N.Y.) continued his solid performances in the weight throw, heaving a personal-best distance of 53’ 9” to move into sixth on Virginia’s all-time records.
Sophomore Chidimma Uche (Ann Arbor, Mich.) also competed in the pentathlon for the first time and ran a personal-best 8.88 in the 60m hurdles en route to collecting 3261 points.
In the 60m hurdles, senior Lauren Echko (Hudson, Ohio) advanced out of the preliminary round and finished the semifinals in a personal-best time of 8.60, while Virginia’s distance medley relay of junior Stephanie Garcia (South Riding, Va.), freshman Jennifer Weatherly (Sterling, Va.), sophomore Lyndsay Harper (Albuquerque, N.M.) and senior Sara Casscells (Wilmington, Del.) finished the day with a season-best time of 11:39.69.
The Cavaliers will return to action tomorrow to complete the National Invite.